Gangster Thursday: The Odd Inflation of James “Whitey” Bulger.

Whitey With Weapon

The headlines told us he terrorized the City of Boston for 25 years. Yet almost no one heard of him before he fled in December 1991 outside of a small section of the  city called South Boston and some in the criminal element.

He was supposed to be a tough guy but there was no record of him ever going into the ring which was done by lots of tough guys in South Boston.

South Boston was known for sending its tough guys into the Marines. When Whitey’s turn came to enlist he opted for the Air Force. How does that prove one’s mettle?

He was convicted of robbing three banks. He said that he robbed more but there is no record of him having done it. I suppose it takes a certain amount of guts and gall to pull of a robbery, or at least an ability to suppress one’s fears. Whitey did this but he always carried a gun doing it and had others with him.

I should ask whether there is a psychological boost some people get carrying a gun. Does that give a person courage to do things that they otherwise would be afraid of doing.  I ask that because all of Whitey’s bravado seemed to come when he was carrying a gun.

Were you aware that Whitey who was supposed to be at the front of the line of desperados, the real hit man, the biggest of all gangsters never killed anyone outside of South Boston or the area within two or three miles of Southie. What type of bold criminal fears going beyond his small locality when it comes to murders. He certainly wasn’t a “have gun will travel” guy.

Did you know that murders made Whitey sick? If his enforcer Kevin Weeks is right, whenever a murder occurred close to Whitey he would have to lie down for a while. Meanwhile his partner, Steve Flemmi, and Weeks, would take the body down to the basement and joyfully mutilate it by pulling the teeth out of the head of the deceased one by one and cutting off the fingers. Whitey recoiled from those types of actions.

Are you aware of all the murders he committed, the federal prosecutors alleged there were twenty but it was closer to half of that, he only did the killing in two or three of them, if that. He may have been present for the murders, he may have lured the victim or brought the victim to the locale where he or she was going to be murdered, but he never fired the gun that brought about the person’s death other than in the two or three times mentioned.

Did you know that Whitey unlike the other murderers never was by himself when it came to killing a person. That he never walked up to someone and shot them in the head as the others in his group had done. He always needed the support and help of others.

Were you aware the Whitey never took over a legitimate business except perhaps a liquor store in South Boston by extortion or threats. Unlike Mafia or other top criminals he stayed away from legitimate enterprises.

Did you know Whitey had no gang of mobsters under him? He had Flemmi his partner, Kevin Weeks and that was about it. Others who he knew like Pat Nee never felt he was their boss.

Were you aware the Whitey only preyed on other criminals and he did it in conjunction with Steve Flemmi who was a real animal?

I assume you know that Whitey was protected by the FBI so he had nothing to fear from legitimate law enforcement.

Add it all up and ask yourself whether or not Whitey was not what he had been built up to be.


  1. The FBI had/has Mafia R US branches in every major
    American city.Funded by American taxpayers.

    New Orleans branch

    Wiseguys called him “the Keith Richards of the American Mafia,” and JFK hero Jim Garrison denounced him as, “one of the most notorious vice operators in the history of New Orleans” … but you can just call Frenchy Brouillette MR. NEW ORLEANS. MR. NEW ORLEANS tells the incredible story of Cajun country boy Frenchy Brouillette’s 50-year sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll bender as the New Orleans Mafia’s political fixer and sex racket chief. Frenchy enjoyed a glamorous, debauched life in New Orleans’ French Quarter, during the Mafia’s golden age. MR. NEW ORLEANS is the first book to break the code of secrecy in the New Orleans Mafia Family, sharing the shocking true story of America’s oldest and most mysterious crime family … and revealing their potential involvement in the Kennedy Assassination.

    Also see

    In 2001 we brought Darruba to speak at Bates College
    for the second time in the past 13 years. ( 1989-2002)
    Our conference dealt with crimes committed by FBI agents.
    Other speakers at the conference included Attorney John De Camp,
    Attorney John Clarke , former LAPD narcotics detective Mike Ruppert,
    Earth First activist Darryl Cherney and others


    Also see

    The shooting
    On May 19, 1971, Thomas Curry and Nicholas Binetti, two New York City Police Department officers who were guarding the home of Frank S. Hogan, the Manhattan district attorney, were fired upon in a drive-by shooting, with a machine gun.[3] The officers survived, but were seriously injured, sustaining shots to the head, neck, chest, and abdomen.

    The shootings took place during a period of intense violence between black activist organizations and the New York City police department. Two days later, NYPD officers Waverly Jones and Joseph Piagentini were shot and killed outside a housing project in Harlem.[4][5]

    Wahad was arrested and initially charged with robbing a South Bronx social club, and then was later charged with the attempted murders of Curry and Binetti.

    Wahad’s first trial ended in a hung jury; his second in a mistrial. Two years later, in 1973, his third trial resulted in a guilty verdict; he was sentenced to twenty-five years to life.[6]

    Prison and release
    Wahad spent a total of nineteen years in prison. While incarcerated, he learned about Congressional hearings that disclosed the existence of a covert F.B.I. operation known as COINTELPRO. In December 1975 he filed a lawsuit against the F.B.I. and the police department of the City of New York.

    As a direct result of his lawsuit, over the next fifteen years the F.B.I. released more than 300,000 pages of documents regarding COINTELPRO. The COINTELPRO documents were the basis on which Wahad appealed his conviction, and on March 15, 1990, Judge Peter J. McQuillan of the New York Supreme Court in Manhattan reversed it, ruling that the prosecution had failed to disclose evidence that could have helped Mr. Wahad’s defense.[7]

    While Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau stated that he planned to appeal the ruling, and would obtain a retrial if his appeal failed, Wahad was freed and released without bail.

    Morgenthau’s attempt to appeal was rejected by the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court,[8] and on January 20, 1995, the Manhattan district attorney’s office stated there would be no retrial, indicating that the current condition of the evidence would make this impossible.[9]

    In 1995, the F.B.I. settled with Wahad; the U.S. government paid him $400,000.[10]

    On December 4, 2000, Dhoruba’s suit against the New York Police Department, seeking $15 million in damages was scheduled to begin.[11] On December 8, 2000, the city of New York laid to rest a 25-year legal battle, and agreed to pay Wahad an additional $490,000 in damages.[3]

  2. Hi Matt and thanks for an interesting article on Bulger.

    1. How is your new book going? I look forward to reading it when it comes out.

    2. What was the point of Flemmi and Weeks getting the names of the informants for the Medford Mafia induction ceremony from Connolly?

    3. What is your understanding of William Stuart the former police detective as according to the book Rifleman he sounds like a gangster with a badge as Flemmi alleges he was being paid by Wimpy Bennett.

  3. william m. connolly

    The Big Lie:”Whitey was protected by the FBI and he had nothing to fear from legitimate law enforcement.” Even Flemmi admitted, and Morris confirmed, that all Top Echelon Informants would be arrested by the FBI for murder or acts of violence. Each year, at least, TEI were reminded that the FBI would not arrest them for minor crimes, like gambling.
    The only instance I have ever heard of the FBI informing Whitey of a potential bust was an investigation related to gambling. Why did the FBI not want him arrested and put away for two years because of gambling activities? Because as a TEI he was helping the FBI take down notorious murderers, organized crime figures, MAFIA type figures et cetera.

    I have seen this BIG LIE used to imply that FBI agents knew Whitey was murdering people and protected him and other TEIs from being investigated, prosecuted for murder.

    FBI agents, like John Connolly, have said that if they knew any TEI had committed murder or an act of violence they would have arrested the Top Echelon Informants.

    2. Whitey was a petty criminal; his involvement in murders was not confirmed until about the late 1990s. When the 1995 Federal Indictments came down against Whitey, Flemmi, et al, there were no charges of murder.

    So, please, do not imply that the FBI was prevented State Investigators from pursuing murder investigations against anyone

    The Fact is no State Prosecutor had brought an indictment for murder against Whitey Bulger in the 1980s, nor before the Feds indicted him for non murder charges in 1995.

    2. Otherwise, it is true Whitey’s territory extended from Southie to perhaps a small part of Uphams Corner in Dorchester and to a few bars along Dorchester Avenue, and he was not a force who “ruled” any of those areas. He was a two bit murderer. And most killers carrying guns like Martorano and Flemmi were cowardly bullies who killed without qualms, almost all of the cowards killings were by sneaking up on someone and shooting them inthe back of the head, or settingsomeone up for a cowardly drive by.

    These serial killer types, did not like Cowboys, have one on one shootouts in a fair fight, Draw . . . .no they were cowards, bullies, cold blooded slime, the lowest of humanity, and should never be celebrated like the media and Howie Carr has done, befriending Martorano.

    • William:

      Surely you joke. Whitey was absolutely protected by the FBI. Remember the FBI telling him the State Police were bugging his Lancaster Street Headquarters. Remember the State Police interception of the FBI agent with his Top Echelon informant saying “my job is to keep you safe.” Now you are citing Flemmi and Morris as people who should be believed. As to what they testified to Flemmi said Connolly told they they could do anything they wanted except hit someone; Morris had no idea what the deal was – he said he asked Connolly who said all the want is a head start. Morris also testified they tipped them off about the Baharian wiretap so they wouldn’t get caught. First ask yourself, why would someone become and FBI Top Level Informant and squeal on his friends without protection.

      2. Where did I imply the FBI stopped state officials from murder investigations. Show me.

      I thought you supported John Connolly?

  4. I see we’re in general agreement here: a seedy liquor store in South Boston does not a Crime Lord make. It’s actually kind of flabbergasting to think that two major motion pictures have been made about this guy. And the story isn’t over. The Bureau of Prisons has yet to charge anybody with Bulger’s murder. Amazing. This is the same outfit that gave us the suicide of Jeffrey Epstein. Sigh. We should also contemplate the living. Any new ideas about getting John Connolly out of prison?

    • william m. connolly

      DanC, numerous people, including former FBI agents and retired lawyers, have petitioned the Governor of Florida and the former Governor to grant John Connolly early release, based on several compelling reasons, including age, health, risk of Covid, no threat to the community, and simple Mercy. All are waiting that justice be done and John Connolly, an innocent man, be released.

      • William:

        Petitioning a Republican governor to help Connolly is like petitioning Rodrigo Duterte.

    • Dan:

      One of the movies was a remake of a Hong Kong movie replacing Chinese actors with American actors and selling it as having something to do with Whitey. Yes, I wonder why no one is charged with Whitey’s murder. The Globe had identified and convicted a couple of guys within a week of it but the Bureau of Prisons seems incapable of figuring out what happened. As to Epstein’s death, suicide or homicide, it’s hard to say but I go with the suicide. Jeffrey after his life living in the clouds could not stand another day with the low lives he was associating with and knew there was to be no quick exit. I don’t blame the guards. It’s a lousy job and if no one is watching why not grab a few winks.

      I think my two week series on John Durham if it gets any juice will be John Connolly’s last real chance to get a break. I show how he was pretty much railroaded by Durham, Wyshak and company. He’s eighty years old – been in prison for 20 years – give me a break. Somewhere, someone has to pick up the ball and run with it. The Florida Appeals court was in the bag. How did that happen? I’m hoping. Thanks for asking.

  5. Before voters and taxpayers can set and enforce standards for
    their criminal justice system they must be able to speak
    and communicate in its various dialects.

    In other its a wonderful day in Matt’s neighborhood parodies…

    By 1924, the Dallas chapter of the Klan was the largest in the nation, including one out of every three eligible men in Dallas.[7] Dallas County voters placed Klan or Klan-supported candidates in control of the courthouse in 1922 and of City Hall in the following year. The State Fair of Texas officially designated October 23, 1923, as Ku Klux Klan Day. Two successive district attorneys were Klansmen, as were the sheriff, the police commissioner, the police chief, judges, and others. A close friend of H.L. Hunt, Lt. George Butler, the head of the Policeman’s Union in Dallas, was a member of the Klan. He once told Penn Jones Jr., a former Army colonel at Anxio and Texas liberal newspaper operator, that one half of the Dallas police force were Klansmen.[8] Four of the Klan’s Executive Committee of Ten and at least twenty of its Steering Committee of One Hundred were members of the Dallas Chamber of Commerce.[9]


    Let’s face it Whitey Bulger was never a priority for FBI Director
    Hoover. Come to think of it neither was Pearl Harbor.

    75 Years After Pearl Harbor, the FBI Continues to Withhold Evidence

    In other audio visual aids…

    • MS:

      The FBI will never allow itself to be embarrassed. As for J. Edgar Hoover, his philosophy was simple – if you waved the flag and did not look like you threatened America you were free to do what you wanted. He tolerated the Mafia until it became embarrassing for him to do it. He did tolerate the KKK. The only white Americans he distrusted were mostly Jewish who were socialists and communists. Along with them he had a deep fear of black Americans. He felt given their ongoing second class citizenship they might wake up some day and under the leadership of the Sociaists/Communists prevent a great danger to America.

  6. Whitey as the master criminal or chief villain was always a bogus story. It was comparable to the Russian collusion hoax. It was a media invention designed to justify wrongdoing by government officials. The Liberals were desperate to get Sen. Bulger. The Senator excluded the press from any influence at the State House. He ignored them. He mocked them. So the Liberals cut the deals with Martorano, Flemmi, Salemme, Winter and Nee in a forlorn effort to frame the politician. What does it say about the morals of the DEA, State Police and Federal prosecutors when you let worse criminals out of jail to get a lesser one? When you have a corrupt, compromised boss in Morris testify against an honest underling Connolly? Something is rotten at the Moakley Courthouse and in the Boston media. 2. The Russian collusion story was a total fraud too. It was designed to frame Trump . It was almost identical to what happened to Sen. Bulger a couple of decades earlier. Massive government corruption. 3. I was hoping that Bernie would be the Democratic nominee. Then you would have a clear choice between a socialist and a capitalist. One of the most admirable aspects of Trump is his independence. He is not beholden to anyone. He can ignore his party, his fundraisers and the establishment. So too could Bernie. Seymour Hirsch said Bernie was the first Democratic nominee in the last 40 years not to go to the Jews on Wall St. to fund his campaign. He raised all his money on the internet so he was completely free of special interests. Biden unlike Trump and Bernie is totally at the mercy of his party and their money people.A functionary of the special interests. He has been on both sides of every issue in his 50 years in politics. No principles whatsoever. A moral cipher. Just a Party man. 4. A commercial Trump should run. A woman goes to her pantry looking for nuts. She finds some but the use by date is 1972. She states that these old nuts are useless, She also states that Biden went to the Congress that same year and is still in DC. making that old nut useless too.

    • william m. connolly

      Excellent, insightful post, NC.

    • Ah, 1972. My first presidential election. I voted for Shirley Chisholm. One of the few times I have voted in a serious frame of mind.

    • NC:

      Liberals? Durham and Wyshak are far from Liberals. Both registered Republicans. Durham has said he had been a Republican all his life. They are the ones who cut the deals. You really go over the edge blaming Liberals when I’ve shown one of your leaders, Howie Carr, along with them were the ones hyping Whitey. You really have to step back and stop blaming liberals for everything.
      2. Not only did Mueller show there was Russian influence in the election of Donald Trump the Senate Committee under the Republican leadership agreed with it. You should go to confession comparing Bulger to Trump – didn’t he just come out and warn people in the suburbs that the poor from the cities were coming out to get them; Bill Bulger worked for the poor of the cities. 3. \\
      3. Read an interesting article in Vanity Fair about Trumps’ independence. He refused to have a nationwide program to prepare for Covid-19 because he wanted to hide what was happening. You remember he didn’t want the people to get off the ferry because that might inflate the number of cases. Sure, his independence is wonderful if it didn’t destroy America.
      I don’t understand what’s wrong with going to the Jews on Wall Street to finance a campaign. Aren’t they Americans who have a right to do that or do you suggest there is some sinister plot among them to do some evil? You write like Trump has not interacted with any lobbyists when he has put them in his cabinet. He’s no more independent than any person especially when it comes to Russia which waggles him around at will. How is it Trump has never said a bad word about Putin while he constantly criticizes Merkel. Can you figure that one out? At least we know what side Trump is on when it comes to NATO and Russia.
      4. If Trump ran a commercial showing a woman going to her pantry for nuts all the people would wonder why she just didn’t go to Trump the big nut. Sadly your attacks on Biden are falling far short. Too bad, even Trump has stopped attacking him. Better check in with him to see what the latest line you should take – maybe back to the Deep State that still runs things although Trump has been in office for 3 1/2 years; I so see that he is still blaming Obama for things he neglected to do over that time.

  7. Until the voter and taxpayer see themselves as the
    primary consumers of the criminal justice system
    and set and enforce standards for it our only option
    will be our daily visit to the Matt of Boston Wailing Wall.

    Come to think of it I could use a good gnash and wail
    right about now…..

    In the couple apples gone bad vs the whole orchard is rotten

    Vallejo top cop launches probe over “badge-bending” allegations
    By Henry Lee

    VALLEJO, Calif. – Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams said Wednesady that he has ordered a review into reports that some officers “bent badges” to mark each time they shot and killed someone while on duty.
    “Celebrating the killing of a human being is never acceptable, and I’m deeply disturbed by these allegations,” Willliams said. “With this new information available to me, I’m doing an official inquiry into the department and the allegations.

    Why not..

    Smoke break! Two uniformed NYPD officers are spotted smoking a hookah through the window of their squad car

    For the uneducated and uneducable

    The Rise and Fall of America’s Most Corrupt Police Squad
    Baynard Woods and Brandon Soderberg
    St. Martin’s Press

  8. The FBI love to make the public think that they are hunting Dillinger and Capone again. The people I know and knew that grew up with Whitey and dealt with him through life said he was a little bully who knew exactly who he could boss around and who he had to ask Flemmi to throw a scare into. I run into a lot of people down here that say, “I saw a great show last night on that big mob boss Whitey Bulger…..” and I have to laugh.

    • Honest:

      It is not only down there, I have friends here who have said the same things to me after seeing a movie.